The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will obey all legitimate court orders served on it in respect of the Bayelsa state governorship election, although it will not halt its plans as had been organized.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, in a telephone chat with The Nation in Abuja on Thursday, said the commission had all need for the elections had been deployed, adding election will go on as planned.
It would be recalled that a Federal High Court, sitting in Yenagoa, in a case filed by one of the governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had on Thursday nullified the APC governorship primary, which produced the candidate, Chief David Lyon.
The development had generating some form of confusion over the state of the election, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 16 in Bayelsa state.
The judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Jane Inyang, while giving her ruling, had restrained the INEC from including the governorship candidate of the APC, Chief Lyon, in the election.
But responding to a question from The Nation on how the INEC intends to manage the new situation, Okoye said the commission would do what it has always done in circumstances like this; obey legitimate court orders, however, it will still go ahead with its plans for the election, using the materials already prepared before the judgment was given.
“I will tell you just two things. The first thing is that the election on Saturday will go on, and the second thing is that we are going to obey all legitimate court orders served on us. The election will go on, the ballot papers have been printed and the ballot papers are being deployed.
“Security forces are being deployed, INEC staff are being deployed and we are set for the conduct of this election. If there’s any court order in relation to what we are doing, we will obey all court orders because that has been the tradition of the commission; to obey all legitimate court orders,” he said.